BAY CITY, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University Men’s Soccer team has a program-record four 2021 All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) honorees as Kaffie Kurz was named First Team All-GLIAC, Ryan Palmbaum and Niko Scheibal were named to the Second Team, and Alex Weaver appeared on the Honorable Mention Team.
Midfielder Kaffie Kurz made the All-GLIAC First Team for the Wildcats. The junior notched his first two goals as a member of the NMU team this season with one against Davenport and one against Ashland. He also added an assist.
Kurz, from Paynesville, Liberia, played an important role for the team this season playing in the transition from offensive to defensive play. The junior also won several 50/50 balls and contributed to the defense. He has started all 44 games in his Wildcat career which is good for No. 11 in games played and No. 6 in games started in the NMU record book.
Kurz has previously been a GLIAC Honorable Mention Team Member twice.
Palmbaum, a Rocklin, Calif. native, led the team in assists (4), points (10), and tied for the team lead in goals (3). He also notched one game-winning goal this season. The assists mark tied for the regular-season best in the GLIAC.
The sophomore midfielder also broke the Wildcat career assists record and sits at No. 1 with 10 assists. He accomplished the feat in record time over 26 games. Palmbaum was the GLIAC Freshman of the Year last season.
Scheibal, a freshman centerback, also appeared on the Second Team after a solid first-year campaign in Marquette.
The defender, who came to NMU by way of Minnetonka, Minn., was part of a defense that notched three shutouts and held another opponent to just one goal.
Scheibal also made his mark on offense as he was named the GLIAC Offensive Player of the Week on March 30th. He earned the honor after scoring the lone goal in a 1-0 shutout over then 3-0 Purdue Northwest.
The final student-athlete to earn All-GLIAC honors was goalkeeper Alex Weaver who made the Honorable Mention team.
Weaver, a sophomore transfer, played every minute in goal for the Wildcats this season. The keeper, from Des Moines, Wash., had 37 saves and earned three shutouts this year. He notched a 75.5 save percentage this season and had a record of 4-3-1.
“I am happy for our guys to get the recognition for themselves and also for their teammates who assisted them and the team,” said head coach David Poggi. “This was one of the best seasons we’ve ever had. It’s bittersweet that we did not go further in the conference tournament because I believe we have more guys who could have gotten recognition had we went further into the tournament.”
“As you can see, the GLIAC Tournament finals are the fifth seed against the sixth seed, and that is new to me in my career. I think that speaks to the quality of the GLIAC top to bottom,” added Poggi. “I feel we could have gone further than we did, but these awards help soften the blow of not being there.
“Post-season awards are always controversial, but I believe these four individuals are more than worthy of the awards they received,” concluded Poggi.
NMU finished the season with a 4-3-1 overall record and a 4-3 conference mark.